Funding for the next Mississippi River infrastructure project could come from private investment due to a partnership formed Wednesday.
The Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, comprised of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and 74 other mayors, signed an agreement with United Kingdom-based CDP, an organization that collects self-disclosed corporate environmental data for investors wanting to fund projects. The goal is to connect cities in the MRCTI with potential investors.
CDP is linked with thousands of companies and more than 800 investment firms around the world, and the MRCTI will be matched to a $2 trillion global investment portfolio, said Paula DiPerna, global adviser for environment and finance at CDP North America.
"This enables cities to better showcase infrastructure projects and find new ways to fund investment," DiPerna said. "Infrastructure projects equals jobs."
DiPerna said the investors represent "mainstream investment companies" who use CDP's data to "illuminate the risks to climate" to determine which projects to finance. The MRCTI said Wednesday that this partnership gives cities more options instead of relying on federal money to complete infrastructure projects.
Civil rights activist, former Atlanta mayor and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young also spoke at the event Wednesday, highlighting the potential of the partnership.
"There's not enough government money to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities," he said. "We need to create jobs and opportunities for all our citizens."